Grand Jury indictment of Osama bin Laden

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Grand Jury indictment of Osama bin Laden

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA : - v. - : USAMA BIN LADEN,

INDICTMENT 

a/k/a "Usamah Bin-Muhammad : Bin-Ladin," 98 Cr. a/k/a "Shaykh Usamah Bin-Ladin," : a/k/a "Mujahid Shaykh," a/k/a "Abu Abdullah" : a/k/a "Qa Qa," : Defendant.

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COUNT ONE

Conspiracy to Attack Defense Utilities of the United States

The Grand Jury charges:

Background: Al Qaeda

1. At all relevant times from in or about 1989 until the date of the filing of this Indictment, an international terrorist group existed which was dedicated to opposing non-Islamic governments with force and violence.

This organization grew out of the "mekhtab al khidemat" (the "Services Office") organization which had maintained (and continues to maintain) offices in various parts of the world, including Afghanistan, Pakistan (particularly in Peshawar) and the United States, particularly at the Alkifah Refugee Center in Brooklyn.

From in or about 1989 until the present, the group called itself "Al Qaeda" ("the Base"). From 1989 until in or about 1991, the group was headquartered in Afghanistan and Peshawar, Pakistan.

In or about 1992, the leadership of Al Qaeda, including its "emir" (or prince) USAMA BIN LADEN, the defendant, and its military command relocated to the Sudan. From in or about 1991 until the present, the group also called itself the "Islamic Army."

The international terrorist group (hereafter referred to as "Al Qaeda") was headquartered in the Sudan from approximately 1992 until approximately 1996 but still maintained offices in various parts of the world.

In 1996, USAMA BIN LADEN and Al Qaeda relocated to Afghanistan. At all relevant times, Al Qaeda was led by its "emir," USAMA BIN LADEN.

Members of al Qaeda pledged an oath of allegiance to USAMA BIN LADEN and Al Oaeda.

2. Al Qaeda opposed the United States for several reasons.

First, the United States was regarded as "infidel" because it was not governed in a manner consistent with the group's extremist interpretation of Islam.

Second, the United States was viewed as providing essential support for other "infidel" governments and institutions, particularly the governments of Saudi Arabia and Egypt, the nation of Israel and the United Nations, which were regarded as enemies of the group.

Third, Al Qaeda opposed the involvement of the United States armed forces in the Gulf War in 1991 and in Operation Restore Hope in Somalia in 1992 and 1993. In particular, Al Qaeda opposed the continued presence of American military forces in Saudi Arabia (and elsewhere on the Saudi Arabian peninsula) following the Gulf War.

Fourth, Al Qaeda opposed the United States Government because of the arrest, conviction and imprisonment of persons belonging to Al Qaeda or its affiliated terrorist groups, including Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman.

3. Al Qaeda has functioned both on its own and through some of the terrorist organizations that have operated under its umbrella, including: the Islamic Group (also known as "al Gamaa Islamia" or simply "Gamaa't"), led by co-conspirator Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman; the al Jihad group based in Egypt; the "Talah e Fatah" ("Vanguards of Conquest") faction of al Jihad, which was also based in Egypt, which faction was led by co-conspirator Ayman al Zawahiri ("al Jihad"); Palestinian Islamic Jihad; and a number of jihad groups in other countries, including Egypt, the Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Somalia, Eritrea, Kenya, Pakistan, Bosnia, Croatia, Algeria, Tunisia, Lebanon, the Philippines, Tajikistan, Chechnya, Bangladesh, Kashmir and Azerbaijan. In February 1998, al Qaeda joined forces with Gamaa't, al Jihad, the Jihad Movement in Bangladesh and the "Jamaat ul Ulema e Pakistan" to issue a fatwah (an Islamic religious ruling) declaring war against American civilians worldwide under the banner of the "International Islamic Front for Jihad on the Jews and Crusaders."

4. Al Qaeda also forged alliances with the National Islamic Front in the Sudan and with the government of Iran and its associated terrorist group Hezballah for the purpose of working together against their perceived common enemies in the West, particularly the United States. In addition, al Qaeda reached an understanding with the government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq.

5. Al Qaeda had a command and control structure which included a majlis al shura (or consultation council) which discussed and approved major undertakings, including terrorist operations.

6. Al Qaeda also conducted internal investigations of its members and their associates in an effort to detect informants and killed those suspected of collaborating with enemies of Al Qaeda.

7. From at least 1991 until the date of the filing of this Indictment, in the Sudan, Afghanistan and elsewhere out of the jurisdiction of any particular state or district, USAMA BIN LADEN, a/k/a "Usamah Bin-Muhammad Bin-Laden," a/k/a "Shaykh Usamah Bin- Laden," a/k/a "Mujahid Shaykh," a/k/a "Abu Abdallah," a/k/a "Qa Qa," the defendant, and a co-conspirator not named as a defendant herein (hereafter "Co-conspirator") who was first brought to and arrested in the Southern District of New York, and others known and unknown to the grand jury, unlawfully, willfully and knowingly combined, conspired, confederated and agreed together and with each other to injure and destroy, and attempt to injure and destroy, national-defense material, national-defense premises and national- defense utilities of the United States with the intent to injure, interfere with and obstruct the national defense of the United States. Overt Acts

8. In furtherance of the said conspiracy, and to effect the illegal object thereof, the following overt acts, among others, were committed:

a. At various times from at least as early as 1991 until at least in or about February 1998, USAMA BIN LADEN, the defendant, met with Co-conspirator and other members of Al Qaeda in the Sudan, Afghanistan and elsewhere;

b. At various times from at least as early as 1991, USAMA BIN LADEN, and others known and unknown, made efforts to obtain weapons, including firearms and explosives, for Al Qaeda and its affiliated terrorist groups;

c. At various times from at least as early as 1991, USAMA BIN LADEN, and others known and unknown, provided training camps and guesthouses in various areas, including Afghanistan and the Sudan, for the use of Al Qaeda and its affiliated terrorist groups;

d. At various times from at least as early as 1991, USAMA BIN LADEN, and others known and unknown, made efforts to produce counterfeit passports purporting to be issued by various countries and also obtained official passports from the Government of the Sudan for use by Al Qaeda and its affiliated groups;

e. At various times from at least as early as 1991, USAMA BIN LADEN, and others known and unknown, made efforts to recruit United States citizens to Al Qaeda in order to utilize the American citizens for travel throughout the Western world to deliver messages and engage in financial transactions for the benefit of Al Qaeda and its affiliated groups;

f. At various times from at least as early as 1991, USAMA BIN LADEN, and others known and unknown, made efforts to utilize non-Government organizations which purported to be engaged in humanitarian work as conduits for transmitting funds for the benefit of Al Qaeda and its affiliated groups;

g. At various times from at least as early as1991, Co-conspirator and others known and unknown to the grand jury engaged in financial and business transactions on behalf of defendant USAMA BIN LADEN and Al Qaeda, including, but not limited to: purchasing land for training camps; purchasing warehouses for storage of items, including explosives; transferring funds between bank accounts opened in various names; obtaining various communications equipment, including satellite telephones; and transporting currency and weapons to members of al Qaeda and its associated terrorist organizations in various countries throughout the world;

h. At various times from in or about 1992 until the date of the filing of this Indictment, USAMA BIN LADEN and other ranking members of Al Qaeda stated privately to other members of Al Qaeda that Al Qaeda should put aside its differences with Shiite Muslim terrorist organizations, including the Government of Iran and its affiliated terrorist group Hezballah, to cooperate against the perceived common enemy, the United States and its allies;

i. At various times from in or about 1992 until the date of the filing of this Indictment, USAMA BIN LADEN and other ranking members of Al Qaeda stated privately to other members of Al Qaeda that the United States forces stationed on the Saudi Arabian peninsula, including both Saudi Arabia and Yemen, should be attacked;

j. At various times from in or about 1992 until the date of the filing of this Indictment, USAMA BIN LADEN and other ranking members of Al Qaeda stated privately to other members of Al Qaeda that the United States forces stationed in the Horn of Africa, including Somalia, should be attacked;

k. Beginning in or about early spring 1993, Al Qaeda members began to provide training and assistance to Somali tribes opposed to the United Nations' intervention in Somalia;

1. On October 3 and 4, 1993, members of al Qaeda participated with Somali tribesmen in an attack on United States military personnel serving in Somalia as part of Operation Restore Hope, which attack killed a total of 18 United States soldiers and wounded 73 others in Mogadishu;

m. On two occasions in the period from in or about 1992 until in or about 1995, Co-conspirator helped transport weapons and explosives from Khartoum to Port Sudan for transshipment to the Saudi Arabian peninsula;

n. At various times from at least as early as 1993, USAMA BIN LADEN and others known and unknown, made efforts to obtain the components of nuclear weapons; o. At various times from at least as early as 1993, USAMA BIN LADEN and others known and unknown, made efforts to produce chemical weapons;

p. On or about August 23, 1996, USAMA BIN LADEN signed and issued a Declaration of Jihad entitled "Message from Usamah Bin-Muhammad Bin-Laden to His Muslim Brothers in the Whole World and Especially in the Arabian Peninsula: Declaration of Jihad Against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Mosques; Expel the Heretics from the Arabian Peninsula" (hereafter the "Declaration of Jihad") from the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan. The Declaration of Jihad included statements that efforts should be pooled to kill Americans and encouraged other persons to join the jihad against the American "enemy";

q. In or about late August 1996, USAMA BIN LADEN read aloud the Declaration of Jihad and made an audiotape recording of such reading for worldwide distribution; and

r. In February 1998, USAMA BIN LADEN issued a joint declaration in the name of Gamaa't, Al Jihad, the Jihad Movement in Bangladesh and the "Jamaat ul Ulema e Pakistan" under the banner of the "International Islamic Front for Jihad on the Jews and Crusaders," which stated that Muslims should kill Americans -- including civilians -- anywhere in the world where they can be found. (Title 18, United States Code, Section 2155(b).)


FOREPERSON MARY JO WHITE,
United States Attorney